CHRISTMAS cheer will be spread at the Top of Town in Basingstoke this Friday with a host of free activities and entertainment. 

Love Basingstoke Presents is hosting Festive Friday on November 17 with free children's activities, festive walkabouts, a market with local stallholders and live music between 5pm and 8pm.

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On Basingstoke's London Street, children can take part in Christmas crafts with Junk Jodie and have their face painted with Routine Riots.

The Skating Presents - two elegant and beautifully illuminated twinkling presents - will skilfully glide their way through the busy crowds along with Christmas elves who will be checking who has been naughty and nice over the past year.

To find unique gifts and treats for loved ones, shoppers can browse market stalls for goods including beer and cider, sweet treats and bath bombs. As part of Festive Friday, shoppers can also make the most of extended opening times, special offers and festive treats from Top of Town businesses.

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Pupils from the Pauline Quirke Academy of Performing Arts Basingstoke will be singing around the Christmas tree in Market Place at 5pm.

The academy is a dedicated performing arts school at the Brighton Hill Community School, with classes for children and young adults.

Visitors to the town centre can also enjoy music from Basingstoke Rock Choir between 5.30pm and 6pm outside the Willis Museum to get them bopping along into the Christmas mood.

Rock Choir sing upbeat songs with inspirational and powerful lyrics and the audience can enjoy their feel-good and fun style.

From 6pm, dance the evening away with a DJ in Market Place.

Warming up for their performances in this year's Anvil Arts programme, Peter Pan and Hook will be appearing by the Christmas tree in Market Place at 6pm.

The Further Adventures of Peter Pan - the Return of Captain Hook is showing at The Anvil throughout December in a brand-new swashbuckling adventure full of fun, laughter… and crocodiles.

Cabinet member for sports, leisure and culture Cllr Kerry Morrow said: “Festive Friday is the perfect opportunity for families to start getting into the Christmas spirit, with something for everyone.

“Whether you want to enjoy music and theatrical performances, find a unique gift for a loved one or celebrate the start of the festive season, keep an eye on the Love Basingstoke social media channels for the latest updates.”

After Festive Friday there will be plenty of festive events at Festival Place, The Malls and other town centre venues.

There will also be five days of free family events across the Top of Town. Find out more at